When I was checking in the desk clerk, who I think was the assistant manager, said something to the effect that "they" said I would be bringing papers to show that the dog was a service dog. I told her I didn't know what she was referring to and who were "they"? "They" turned out to be the online people through which I had made the reservation. I had requested a wheelchair accessible room and added a comment that we had a service dog with us. I wasn't concerned because the hotel accepts pets. Matter of fact, there was a dog sleeping behind the counter and two cats wandering around outside.
I told her that I had no papers with me and that I didn't have the dog with me at the time. She wears a service vest which should be proof enough. She seemed to shrug it off. Well, then, the manager, who was standing behind her, got involved. She began making comments without addressing me directly about charging for a "pet fee". I said that the dog is not a pet it is a service dog. She said "Oh, so is it a seeing-eye dog or something?". I said, "No." (starting to get a bit irritated now). My son is handicapped and he needs the dog for mobility. She didn't seem to hear this and said, "So, who is handicapped? and what is their problem?" At one point she actually said "Is the dog handicapped?". Wow. I was floored. Not only was this illegal but rude. I restated what Jack's condition is, now, clearly pissed and she still didn't notice nor did the assistant manager still working on checking me in. At anytime during our stay or when I checked out was there an apology or even a thanks for staying with us.
So, I sent an email to the corporate Ramada folks and this is their response:
The Ramada Corporate Office is in receipt of your concerns regarding your stay at the Ashland - Rt. 23 property located in CATLETTSBURG , KY on or about 12/29/2009.
Ramada corporate appreciates your bringing your concerns to our attention. We take these matters very seriously, Ramada corporate, however, is solely the licensor of Ramada tradename, trademarks, and service marks to independently owned and operated Ramada guest lodging facilities. Although Ramada does not own or operate the facility, we require all of our licensees to comply with applicable law. We have advised the owner/operator of the facility of your complaint. We suggest that you contact the owner of the facility directly as the owner is in the best position to respond to your complaint.
I sent this email back to them and haven't heard back nor expect to:
Since you have notified her of the complaint, I see no reason for me to contact her. If she wants to respond to the complaint then she can do that. You may provide my contact information to her. Otherwise, we don't plan on staying at any Ramada hotels anytime soon. Passing the buck back to me doesn't impress me. I don't care if you don't operate the hotel. Your name is on the sign and my credit card receipt.
In conclusion, I thought this might be interesting for those that have or will be getting service dogs. Hard to believe that there are still businesses out there like this but there are.